Religious Communities, Science, Scientists, and Perceptions: A Comprehensive Survey

Sunday, 16 February 2014: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Regency B (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Many scientific and technological issues are of fervent interest to religious communities. While evolution often takes the spotlight, other issues are at least as provocative in both positive and negative ways, ranging from implications of genetics and neuroscience to advances in technology for aiding the world’s poor. A deeper probe shows that it is actually underlying philosophical concerns of religious citizens and their perceptions of scientists that can lead to responses of either enthusiastic support or rejection of science, in ways that can be sometimes baffling to scientists. To increase understanding of these deeply nuanced perceptions, AAAS and Rice University have conducted a major survey of several religious communities regarding their beliefs about science and their perceptions of scientists. A second survey component investigated the views scientists hold regarding the attitudes of religious people toward science. This symposium features the preliminary findings from 3,000 respondents, including evangelical Christians, mainline Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and a wide swath of scientific professionals. Unifying and polarizing scientific issues, perceptions of motivations, and the influence of authority figures in both religious and scientific communities in shaping attitudes toward each other will be discussed. The survey results serve as a basis for enriched dialogue and informed understanding between scientists and religious communities.
Jennifer Wiseman, AAAS Center for Science, Policy, and Society Programs
Paul Arveson, AAAS Center for Science, Policy, and Society Programs
Kaye Fealing, University of Minnesota
Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University
Surveying Religious People About Science and Scientists
Galen Carey, National Association of Evangelicals
Evangelicals and Science: Challenges and Opportunities
Eugenie C. Scott, National Center for Science Education
Equipping Scientists to Better Understand and Converse with Religious Communities
See more of: Communication and Public Programs
See more of: Symposia